༺ ■■el (3) – Fictional Hell ༻
In this awkward atmosphere, I hurriedly stepped out into the hallway.
The students had begun whispering about me.
Things like what was the reason for that, why did I start running away, or why I didn’t just do that from the beginning, that I was a coward, and so on.
Even though Luce didn’t care about anyone else, she was staring at me rather attentively. Was I really that noticeable? Of course, from her perspective, I was probably just a passing extra 1, maybe extra 4 at best. Well, she would stop paying attention to me soon anyways.
Mateo nodded, a look of approval on his face. I didn’t want to read his psychology because it was obvious that he was thinking something along the lines of ‘Isaac adjusted his power to Tristan’s level.’
‘Now is not the time to get distracted.’
As soon as I got to a place where people couldn’t see me, I started running.
Normally, it would take me quite a while to get to the roof. Fortunately, my stamina was in good condition. I could reach the rooftop by running at full speed without stopping.
Predictably, there was a high possibility that the Leafa the Illusive intended to confine the entire Duke Hall in [Fictional Hell]. He must have engraved a magic circle into the roof.
So I had to get rid of his spell before it attacked the students.
I sprinted up three stairs at a time. Still, it didn’t consume much stamina. This was where all my Hellish PT performances came into play.
As I ran up the stairs, I took out the Cloak of Disguise from my magic pouch and put it on. I wore the ultramarine blue hooded cloak, put a mask over my mouth, and pulled the hood over my head.
Magic Cloak of Disguise- Berserker. From now on, I would look like a monster.
Fortunately, I arrived at the rooftop entrance door earlier than I had expected.
The entrance door was wide open. The first thing I saw was a large ashen eyeball floating in the air.
[Second Eye]. It was a skill used by the Leafa the Illusive.
The eyeball was fixed on the rooftop below. It seemed like Leafa’s eye was watching over the arena from inside the building with [Clairvoyance].
Even when I went up on the roof, there was no response from it. I guess it couldn’t see the hallway and the stairs leading up to the roof. Otherwise, it would have seen me coming up. I was relieved.
Then, just beyond the eyeball, a strange, darkish membrane stretched into the shape of a hemisphere came into view – It was a small [Fictional Hell], covering part of the rooftop.
‘Why is that thing already activated?’
At that size, it must have been used against a small group of one or two people. Someone came to hunt Leafa!
Professor Fernando had disappeared during the dueling evaluation, and he hadn’t returned, even after I had finished my duel.
When he conducted an exam or performance evaluation inside a building, he used telekinesis magic to set up nets. It was similar to a radar. If an uninvited guest got caught in there, Professor Fernando would immediately notice.
In any case… Professor Fernando had to be the person fighting Leafa in that small [Fictional Hell].
There shouldn’t be any victims. There was also the problem of intertwined affairs, and I hated the idea of an innocent victim, not to mention the mess it would create.
In particular, Professor Fernando was a very important supporting character in ❰Magic Knight of Märchen❱ as he was there to keep Alice Carroll in check.
He would play a big role in awakening Ian, who was going to fall into a slump later on.
I have to save him no matter what.
‘It’s like a timed attack. I have to be as quick as possible.’
Leafa was toying around with Professor Fernando, and once the mana contained in the magic circle was full, it would instantly increase the size of [Fictional Hell].
I’ll have to hunt him before that happens.
Thinking so, I jumped into [Fictional Hell].
* * *
The sea was like a mirror.
The shallow sea reflected the ultramarine blue sky. It was as if the sky had been turned upside down.
The sky was densely packed with stars, with the Milky Way drifting by.
Every direction led to a horizon that stretched out as far as the eye could see, there were nothing but abandoned buildings scattered about. They were so shabby that they looked like they would crumble at the slightest touch.
Fresh blood was splattered across that beautiful landscape.
Fernando’s body ricocheted through the air like a ball and slammed into the building. Letting out a lone shriek, he was swept down to the ground, the shallow sea soaked his lower body.
He coughed blood out of his mouth. His blue eyes, however, glowed with a fighting spirit.
When he looked up, he saw a swarm of monsters staring back at him. They were alien beings with an appearance as though the Milky Way was flowing through their jet-black skin.
They looked like they were one with the night sky, so Fernando named them Night Sky Monsters.
The Night Sky Monsters took various forms. Ranging anywhere from the forms of humans to animals, and magic beasts, and even an overwhelmingly large octopus flying in space. The octopus was so unrealistically large that it was impossible to gauge its size.
However, the thing that stood out the most was the near full moon. It had to be far away, but it was so massive that it easily dwarfed the moon he was used to seeing.
It was an incredibly beautiful sight to behold.
So much so, that he had the ridiculous thought that it might be a good place for a grave.
Fernando groaned as he got to his feet. His legs felt weak and wobbly, but he managed to stand up by holding on to the wall of a building.
He remembered what he had told his associate professor.
He told them that if he didn’t return after 20 minutes had passed, they were to immediately stop the dueling evaluation, evacuate the students, gather their forces, and head for the rooftop.
Currently, the demon was having fun toying with him.
So, he had to stall for a little more time.
The odds were stacked against him. He was sure that he had killed quite a few monsters, but the number had increased rather compared to before. The monster seemed to be replicating themselves infinitely.
A meaningless war of attrition. It was a structure where you were bound to lose.
It was at that time.
On the full moon that was rising in the night sky, there was a mouth growing. A mouth so large, that it took up half of the moon.
Its jaw was too even, and the teeth were too white.
Tens of thousands of eyes opened above it. It was no longer a moon, it had already become a living being.
Fernando’s eyes widened. The sight was so unsettling that it tingled his senses. The overwhelming sight had rendered him speechless.
Tens of thousands of the full moon’s ominous eyes turned toward him in unison.
It started laughing.
───────────────── [Kyahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Kyahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!]———————————————
The grotesque laugh echoed throughout heaven and earth, as if it were the sound of all things combined.
Even the Night Sky Monsters grew mouths large enough to fill half their heads.
They also burst into laughter like the moon.
It was as if everything in this world was telling him to despair.
Before he knew it, a muscular Night Sky Monster had reached Fernando and threw a fist the size of his entire body.
Fernando hurriedly deployed [Basic Protection Magic] to soften the blow.
The monster’s fist struck Fernando’s temple.
An explosive roar rang out, shaking his brain.
Fernando’s body flew lightly backwards, bouncing off the surface of the sea like a skipping stone, and then rolled around in the shallow sea for a while.
He made a thumping noise—and then he finally stopped moving.
All of his strength left his body.
Fernando blankly looked up at the sky.
It’s beautiful, it’s really beautiful. But let’s save the appreciation for next time.
With all his strength, he raised his upper body. He was still surrounded by monsters, who were all aiming for his life.
His muscles refused to listen. He couldn’t stand up on his own two legs.
It was okay. He could still fight.
Fernando stretched out his right arm toward the monsters. In front of each of his five fingers, compressed [Elemental Magic Bullets] were created with telekinesis magic.
「Water Generation (Water Element, ★1)」 + 「Ice Generation (Ice Element, ★1)」 + 「Compression (Neutral Element, ★4)」
= 「Elemental Magic Bullet (Water + Ice Element)」
Fernando fired five shots of [Elemental Magic Bullet]. However, none of the magic bullets hit their mark. His hands were trembling; he didn’t even have the strength left to hit the enemy.
He didn’t have enough mana to use powerful magic like telekinesis magic and to make matters worse, the number of monsters was increasing again.
Out in space, the giant octopus stared back at him.
The full moon was still giggling and mocking him.
The realization that he couldn’t win was agonizing. He would surely die here.
Even so, he couldn’t back down now.
“I’m… a professor…”
To shake off this despair, he reminded himself of who he was.
His voice didn’t come out right, but he spoke with all his might.
“So for my students, I must…”
He became a professor, not for academic purposes, but out of a pure desire to teach aspiring wizards.
For some reason, the memory of teaching magic to a young student who dreamed of becoming a wizard came to mind.
He had only taught a small part of fire magic theory, but their eyes sparkled as if he had taught them so well. He didn’t show it at the time, but whenever he remembered it, a smile spread across his lips.
He used up his last remaining mana and fired five shots of [Elemental Magic Bullet] once more. It was a precarious move that looked like the elements would disperse at any moment due to lack of mana.
It might have simply been a meaningless struggle. Nonetheless, he needed to stall for time, even if it was just a second more.
Fernando’s small, firm voice was drowned out by the demon’s laughter.
[What a funny face, Fernando—! It was fun, goodbye—]
The eerie full moon bade him farewell with a patronizing voice.
The Night Sky Monsters began to mimic Fernando’s technique in unison.
「Darkness Generation (Darkness Element, ★1)」 + 「Fire Generation (Fire Element, ★1)」 + 「Compression (Neutral Element, ★4)」
= 「Elemental Magic Bullet (Darkness + Fire Element)」
Their [Elemental Magic Bullet] appeared in the form of dark red flames, materializing in front of each monster’s fingers, mouth, and forehead.
Their sizes varied. There were monsters who made small-sized magic bullets like Fernando, while some made large magic bullets to match their size.
Numerous [Elemental Magic Bullet] spells were aimed at him from all directions.
He was going to die this time.
BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG——————————!
The Night Sky Monsters started shooting their [Elemental Magic Bullet] all at once, the sound of each shot blending with the next, filling the air with the sound of a machine gun firing bullets.
Their [Elemental Magic Bullet] sliced through the air toward Fernando.
On the other hand, the [Elemental Magic Bullet] he fired was futile, dispersing helplessly before even reaching the enemy.
Taking one last look at the Night Sky Monsters and the dark red flames flying towards him, Fernando closed his eyes.
─It was then.
A majestic ice wall formed in front of Fernando and a tsunami of icy cold flames poured down, engulfing the sea.
His eyes widened at the sight.
The [Elemental Magic Bullet] that were fired by the Night Sky Monsters couldn’t even scratch the [Ice Wall] despite their elemental advantage.
As soon as the solidly rising [Ice Wall] fulfilled its role, it dispersed into powder while scattering blue light. A vast expanse of ice began to appear in Fernando’s field of vision.
The bodies of many of the Night Sky Monsters were fatally frostbitten, with purple blood oozing from their scorched or torn skin.
A man descended from the sky and landed on a thick sheet of ice. A crack was formed in the ice sheet.
The man was releasing cold air from every inch of his body.
With his arrival, the massive amount of ice that froze the sea became blue powder and scattered.
In that glittering scene, the Night Sky Monsters collapsed helplessly.
Fernando caught a glimpse of the man’s back.
He had a rugged, muscular build with a broad back that stood out. He was at least two meters tall.
He was wearing an ultramarine blue hooded cloak, with his hood draped over his head.
From the big man came a beastly cry, it wasn’t a sound that a human would make. It was the sound of a beast warning its enemy.
Fernando found himself unable to speak. It was as if his brain had shut down.
He knew who that monster was. It was unmistakably the suspicious being that appeared during the class placement evaluation.
But why did the monster appear here?
Why did the monster protect him?
But before he could find the answer to those questions.
The monster ferociously roared at the full moon.
Meanwhile, beyond the Fictional Hell.
Dorothy Heartnova, a schoolgirl wearing a witch’s hat, skipped her class in order to admire the blue sky and ocean horizon. The symmetry of the landscape today was so appealing that she couldn’t help but look at it.
Dorothy floated comfortably in the sky while in a seated position as she gently let the light of her colorful stars flow. This was possible because starlight magic could manipulate natural forces, such as gravity.
Then, she looked down at the academy and noticed something strange.
On the roof of Duke Hall, a strange magic space had formed. It wasn’t emitting any mana, so she hadn’t noticed it until now.
Rather, it was an unknown spell that was absorbing the mana floating in the air. It was as if that magic had been cut off from the rest of the world.
It appeared to be just in an initial demonstration phase, but was rapidly expanding and would soon cover the entirety of Duke Hall.
Dorothy sensed that something suspicious had happened and flew toward the spell.
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